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The science behind why failure makes us more successful

Recent research shows that disappointment can lead to positive outcomes. Here are some tips to help you stay on your grind.

by BDG Studios
Businesswoman in front of many different doors choosing one. Difficult decision, important choice co...

In today's fast paced, productivity-driven world, the simple task of setting a goal and following through can feel like a heavy undertaking. From family matters to professional ambitions, there is a lot of work that goes into maintaining relationships and getting to where you want to be. For some people, the fear of not being able to follow through and possibly failing can be an overwhelming experience. While these feelings are a lot to process, staying open to the journey you’re on and seeing what else can come from it is important.

It’s possible that failure is actually not a bad thing. Failures can allow for new perspectives to emerge while also giving you some insight into how you handle difficult situations. They can even lead to some unexpected benefits. In fact, because failure can be so ripe with possibilities, the Teacher's College at Columbia University even commissioned a dedicated research center that looks into the educational purposes of failing.

Some of the greatest successes have come from those who learned from their past mistakes and turn the negatives into positives. A 2019 study put out by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management found that how you experience failure can serve as a clear indicator of how you succeed in the future. To help all our readers who may be experiencing trials and tribulations on their way to success, here are 9 tips to help you stay on your grind and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Set a single goal

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Knowing where you want to start is half the battle. Often, the biggest mistake people can make is creating too many goals for themselves, which makes achieving them seem impossible. Focus on one goal at a time so that you can approach it in a realistic way.

Come up with a concrete plan

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Part of being able to achieve your dreams is having a plan to execute them. If there are certain tasks or steps that are necessary in completing your goal, having that time set aside weekly or even daily is important. This will help you to stay on track.

Be prepared to hustle

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Sometimes it takes a little hustle to get the things you want in life. While a task may require more work than you originally thought, sticking with it in order to achieve your goal is important. Staying on your grind and working towards your goal will help you achieve more in the long run.

Prepare yourself mentally

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Being able to power through and keep your eye on the prize takes dedication, concentration, and willpower. Mentally getting yourself ready for the journey you are about to take is important. This can help get you in the right headspace for the new challenges you are about to experience and can prepare you for the unexpected.

Stay positive

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When you are trying to pursue your goal, staying positive is extremely important. New psychological research out from 2020 found that exercising daily habits that make you feel positive can help stimulate more long term sustainable happiness.

Thinking positively can have some really great long term effects as well when it comes to goal setting. It can help reduce stress as well as help you in working towards eliminating some of the self-doubt and negative self-talk one sometimes experiences. Additionally, visualizing a positive outcome to your goal can also help get you into the headspace of actually achieving it.

Focus on your goal

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Facing a challenge can cause you to rise to an occasion or know yourself in a new way. What may seem like a challenge at the time can wind up being something really positive in the end. It can give you a new way to see things while also helping to build character and make connections you may have not made before. And research shows that having a plan in place and staying focused on what you are trying to achieve has a higher likelihood of success.

Use failure as motivation

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While things may not have the outcome you want, using this as motivation can push you more. Failure can teach you a lot about who you are and how to keep grinding away at things you want to achieve. It can also lead you in directions that you never thought possible.

Be true to who you are

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Although working towards your goal may not always end in the outcome you want, staying true to who you are is what's most important. Don’t compromise the things you want if it means compromising yourself.

Progress isn’t a straight line

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There are multiple ways to define success but ultimately your opinion is what matters the most. Remember, how you go about achieving your goal is a very individualistic process and there isn’t just one way to get there.

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